Abe Vigoda wants to know if you want another beer

I’ve spent a few hours…okay, many, many hours…in sports bars, clubs and beachfront bars but back in my college days I was not served by lovely young ladies named Chelsea, Kelsie, Jordon, Taylor, Emilie, Megan, Meaghan, Brooke, Leah, Jenna, Joy, Samantha, Victoria, Evita, Debbie, Dakota or Nicole.

No. Most of the servers looked like Mel from the TV show, Alice.

Or Abe Vigoda from Barney Miller.


And I was okay with that. I had paid a cover charge at The Knob Hill Hotel, The Rondun, The Queensbury Arms, Tony’s East, Tony’s West and The Gasworks (though, correct me if I’m wrong, The Gasworks did not usually have a cover) to see Santers, Lee Aaron, Anvil and Goddo.

The price of admission was around $5 though I got to know Lee (aka Karen Greening) and she often put me on the guest list to save me the entry fee. Five bucks bought you at least one beer in those days.


Though my childhood friend Alfie Petitti had always said, you gotta see Goddo live and I wasn’t that impressed. Then again, when we were paying 0ur cover charge on that night  at the Knob 35 years ago, some guy ran out into the hallway and puked in front of us.

Kinda set the tone for a less than wonderful evening and I’m sure my friend Gord Howard recalls Greg Godovitz introducing “Under My Hat” as a song we all should know because they’ve been playing it so fucking long.

Yeah, now I’m in the mood!

But the fact that Mel or Abe Vigoda served us didn’t matter in the slightest. We were there for the music and, if you read my last blog about an outrageous $30 mid-afternoon cover for an “all white” party at Bananas…and thanks for doing so…you know I want value for my club dollar.


Not some guy playing tunes off a laptop and moving turntables forward and backward. Does that require some talent? Perhaps. Does it compare to playing a barre chord or maintaining a steady 4/4 beat? Umm…no.

Abe Vigoda was in his mid 50s when he played Dectctive Fish on Barney Miller though even then he seemed ancient. I’m 55.


In my previous blog I referenced Field of Dreams…my all-time favorite movie…and the scene in which Ray Kinsella travels back to 1972 and meets Archibald Graham, aka Doc, or Moonlight Graham.  Doc, as portrayed by the great Burt Lancaster, says he’d love to go back and stare down a big league pitcher. And, as the pitcher goes into his windup, wink as if he knows something the guy on the mound doesn’t.

I’d just like to see a live rock band at the beach. At The Dardanella, if at all possible and the grand old lady of the beach…she’s 99 years old..is set to open at the end of June.

If the server is a college kid named Brittany, Courtney, Ashley or Tiffany, fine by me. And if it’s Mel or Abe Vigoda, the answer will still be: “Yes, I’ll have another one.”





About johnnymaraca

sole proprietor of Maraca Media, former radio host (Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot), copywriter and producer and a print journalism grad.
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